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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Amoshaun Phynn Toft
BIS 300
Bothell Campus

Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Introduction to advanced work in interdisciplinary studies centered on broadly based questions and problems. Stresses the skills necessary to engage in upper-division research and learning in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program.

Class description

BIS 300 is a process-based course. The purpose of this course on Interdisciplinary Inquiry is to introduce and orient students to upper-division work in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS). Like many courses in IAS, this one will emphasize your ability to (1) read text, images and numbers closely, (2) think and create critically, (3) communicate clearly, (4) research effectively, and (5) work collaboratively. Unlike at least some of those courses, this one will not assume that you already possess these abilities. Rather, it will encourage you to take risks with the goal of improving your skills in and across those five areas. It will orient you in how to pose questions, conduct research to find answers to those questions, realize that those answers only produce more questions, and then pursue those questions as well.

The course will be loosely structured around questions about how income inequality has shaped our society, and will conclude with our considering what social changes are necessary to “end class.? At its core, this is an exploration of a broad issue that touches on diverse facets of our lives. We will explore the broad theme of “the end of class?? both as an end in itself, and as a means to explore how knowledge is produced and why ideas matter. Much of the course will involve discussions of and experimentation with multiple sources, and multiple modes of inquiry and presentation.

Student learning goals

To understand the concept of interdisciplinary knowledge production and the ways in which it underwrites all aspects of the IAS program

To become a better critical thinker, one who is capable of posing, answering, and reposing a variety of complex questions

To become a better writer, one who is capable of communicating multifaceted ideas in a variety of styles

To become a better reader, one who is able to navigate texts, images, and numbers from a variety of sources

To become a better researcher, one who is able to use the resources at UWB and elsewhere both efficiently and effectively

To become a better speaker, one who is able to communicate clearly and engagingly about complicated topics, arguments, and issues; 7. To learn how to effectively collaborate, as both a learner and a researcher; 8. To develop critical self-reflection abilities, to think about where one has come from, integrate what you are currently learning, and make goals for the future.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Course Contribution (Active Participation in class and online) 15% Informal Writing Assignments and Worksheets 15% First Research Cycle 20% Second Research Cycle - Proposal 25% Peer Review of Proposal 5% Portfolio with Reflection 20%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Amoshaun Phynn Toft
Date: 09/18/2012